Green papaya salad (som tum) with salt and pepper tofu

Try this quick and easy vegan supper that’s bursting with flavour. The dressing can be made in advance.


For the salt and pepper tofu
  • 4 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 200g/7oz beech-smoked tofu, cut into cubes (available from Asian supermarkets)

  • vegetable oil, for frying

For the dressing
For the green papaya salad

Preparation method

  1. Sprinkle the seasoned flour onto a plate. Dredge the tofu pieces in the flour and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180C/350F. Alternatively, half-fill a heavy-based saucepan with oil and heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden-brown in it. (Caution: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  3. Fry the tofu pieces for 2-3 minutes, turning once, or until golden-brown on both sides. Remove the tofu pieces from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  4. For the dressing, put the garlic, ginger, coriander roots and chillies into a pestle and mortar and pound to a smooth paste. Add the palm sugar and pound again until smooth, then stir in the lime juice and soy sauce. Add more palm sugar and soy sauce, to taste.

  5. For the green papaya salad, mix the papaya, tomatoes, beans and carrots in a bowl until well combined, then add the dressing and stir until well combined. Gently stir in the Thai basil and coriander.

  6. Serve the papaya salad with the tofu pieces on a bed of iceberg lettuce.

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